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There are a few good safeties in this draft. LSU’s Grant Delpit was the big-name early on, but Minnesota Golden Gophers Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is rising up draft boards. What does Winfield bring to the table? Is there greatness in the next generation of the Winfield family? Antoine Winfield played fourteen seasons in the NFL and was a pro-bowl cornerback.
When scouts and general managers think of safeties, one term comes to mind very quickly: versatility. Winfield brings a lot of versatility at the safety position. He has very good coverage skills, particularly in zone coverage. He is effective in reading a quarterback’s eyes and being in the right position for interceptions. Winfield is also adept as a pass rusher. His play recognition is second to none. He knows how to react to each play. Speaking of his reaction, his hand/eye coordination is just out of this world. He reacts correctly to each play. Winfield is a ball hawk. He knows when to position himself correctly to intercept the football and strip the football out. He is also able to help in run support.
Winfield is also a special teams weapon. He not only possesses really good speed but has strength and vision on kick and punt returns. Winfield will need to make sure he isn’t greedy in regards to creating turnovers. He is so used to making the big play but at the next level, he will need to make the right play. There may be times that he is better off swatting the ball away rather than trying to pick it off.
Winfield isn’t a star but he’s a quality building block with the toughness and intelligence to help fortify the back end.
Prediction- Winfield will be a late first-round pick, likely 27th to the Seattle Seahawks.
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